Just Write: Week 8, 17th March – part 2

door

I opened the door and stepped inside. Shut it tight behind me. Shut all of it out.

The room was empty. Four grey, stone walls, with matching floor and ceiling. A single blue door facing me in the opposing wall, identical to the one I’d just shut behind me. I crossed the floor towards it.

I opened the door and stepped inside. Shut it tight behind me. Shut all of it out. Went further inside.

This room was also empty. Four grey, stone walls, with matching floor and ceiling. It was a little darker than the previous one, the only light pervading from the cracks around the door behind me, less light leaking through to this room than the one before. Otherwise it was a replica. A single blue door facing me in the opposing wall, identical to the one I’d just shut behind me. I crossed the floor towards it.

I opened the door and stepped inside. Shut it tight behind me. Shut all of it out. Went further inside. Further beyond reach.

The third room was empty. Four grey, stone walls, with matching floor and ceiling. The light was faint now, a pale glow describing a rectangle behind me, thin tendrils reaching into the room ahead. Enough to see that there was nothing to see except the familiar single blue door facing me in the opposing wall, identical to the one I’d just shut behind me. I crossed the floor towards it.

I opened the door and stepped inside. Shut it tight behind me. Shut all of it out. Went further inside. Further beyond reach and reason.

The fourth room – was it the fourth room – was empty. Four grey, stone walls, with matching floor and ceiling. It was quite dark now, the brief illumination as the door opened quickly fading. It didn’t matter as there was nothing to see, nothing here. Reflexively I crossed the floor towards where I know will be a single blue door in the opposing wall, identical to the one I’d just shut behind me.

I opened the door and stepped inside. Shut it tight behind me. Shut all of it out. Went further inside. Further beyond reach and reason. Was this far enough to be safe ? Or was this too far to come back ?

The next room, number five or six or seven, was also empty. Pitch dark and silent and empty. I had no reason to believe there was anything other than four grey, stone walls, with matching floor and ceiling. A single blue door in the opposing wall, identical to the one I’d just shut behind me, would be there if I was compelled to go further. This far in it was easy to lose orientation: was this further in or the way out ? If I wanted to get out could I find the way ? It is easy to find a way in here, there’s enough light to find a way in to the darkness, but so much harder to come out when the darkness has stolen the light. I hadn’t intended to come this far. A blue door in the opposing wall or is it the blue door in the original wall ?

I opened the door and stepped inside.

……

I have cheated a little here. This isn’t the piece that I wrote in Monday’s writing class but it is the piece that I wanted to write. I’ve posted it without rereading or editing so I may well look back at it and hate it but this was broadly what I wanted to write. The class revolved (pun possibly intended) around a set of pictures of doors – we had to pick one, make some initial notes of ideas it suggested to us, and then write a short piece.

I had a number of ideas but zeroed in on this door pretty much immediately and also knew pretty much immediately that what it suggested to me was a series of rooms that were all identical, repeating, with someone (me) disappearing further and further into them. It was a fairly straightforward metaphor for depression.

However, I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted to commit to that in the general bonhomie of the last-lesson-of-term and we only had about ten minutes… So instead I wrote a cheery piece on the idea of being tortured in some far flung prison, loosely inspired by Abu Ghraib. It’s not the sort of thing I’d usually write and I don’t think it’s that good to be honest but, I guess, that’s in part because my heart wasn’t really in it. Anyway, for posterity here it is (I would definitely lose the last line looking at it again):

Just before they shoved me inside the blindfold was ripped from my face. Harsh sunlight pierced my skull and I reflexively shut my eyes, the light playing across the inside of my lids even after they were closed.

A foot in the back of my knee forced me to kneel before I was urged back to my feet. I reached out my arm for purchase and grabbed at the door; a cool blue in a blank stone wall of grey. The door opened and I staggered in, managing two steps before sinking to my knees again. Adjusting to the relative gloom I blinked and glanced around, tried to take in where I was. It was a dark, square space, illuminated from behind me by the light streaming in through the door and ahead by a solitary bulb suspended from the ceiling. It hung above a simple metal chair in the middle of the stone floor. There was no other furniture save a large, deep sink on one wall, the tap dripping and with water pooling beneath from some rusted, leaking pipe. My eyes followed the shape of the pool as it edged into the room, finally reaching a carelessly tossed towel. The towel was stained red with something.

I was dragged back to my feet, weakly protesting, struggling in vain as they pulled me to the chair. Through the terror I realised the towel was stained with blood.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s